MediaTek announced a new system on chip (SoC) called the Helio P20, which is the direct successor to the company's mid-range Helio P10 chip. The new chip brings 25 percent higher power efficiency, thanks to being built on TSMC's latest 16nm FinFET Plus (16FF+) process. It's also the industry's first SoC to support LPDDR4X, which is Samsung's more efficient LPDDR4 RAM.
"MediaTek designed the MediaTek helio P20 to meet today's consumer demand for sleek, powerful yet highly power efficient mobile devices," said Jeffrey Ju, Executive Vice President and Co-Chief Operating Officer at MediaTek. "Consumers place increasing importance on the battery life and multimedia capabilities of their smartphones. MediaTek has risen to this challenge with a leading solution," he added.
The MediaTek helio P20 comes with eight Cortex-A53 cores, just like the previous generation, but this time it's clocked higher at 2.3GHz, likely thanks to the 16FF+ process. It also has ARM's latest Mali-T880 GPU, although it only comes with two GPU "cores," rather than the usual four or eight we see in a high-end mobile GPU. The two GPU cores are clocked at 900MHz, which is quite high for a mobile GPU, but it should also benefit from the smaller process node.
The chip comes with an integrated Cat. 6 LTE modem as well, which supports 2x20 carrier aggregation and 300/50Mbps data speeds. The modem also supports global dual-SIM dual standby to allow two numbers to be activated at the same time on a user's phone. Where GSM networks aren't available, the SoC will activate simultaneous standby for the WCDMA network.
The Helio P20 SoC is the first chip to support Samsung's LPDDR4X, which provides 70 percent more bandwidth and 50 percent higher efficiency compared to LPDDR3, by lowering the supply voltage to only 0.6v.
One other feature of the Helio P20 is MediaTek's own Imagiq Image Signal Processor (ISP), also found in the higher-end Helio X20. It includes support for dual-phase detection autofocus, which improves autofocus performance by four times compared to conventional autofocus systems, as well as other technologies to reduce the image noise and to significantly increase the amount of light it can capture.
MediaTek said that the new helio P20 can be expected in devices in the second half of 2016.
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. You can follow him at @lucian_armasu.